2E2 Douglas Rugby Club cruised into the Manx Cup Final with a 65 - 0 victory over Southern Nomads. The encounter was not as one sided as the result suggests as for the first half Nomads pushed Douglas and it wasnt until the second half that Douglas showed their calibre and streaked away.
Douglas went into the game having chosen to rest some of their squad from last weeks encounter with Ramsey and those who filled in did so more than ably and will provide many a selection head ache for the coming weeks. The front row of Todd, Pote and Ferns was replaced this week by Ben Dutnall, Craig Lea and his son and debutant Jack Lea whilst in the second row Glyn Hooson-Owen was carrying a knock and Conor McCaughan filled those big boots.
The game started scrappy with Nomads doing the dog work and scrabbling for every scrap they could and they were doing well to disrupt Douglas and knock them off their stride. Douglas however were allowed a little rumble on 10 minutes and that man Daryn Thompson bagged another try for the season. Hpwever, minutes later indiscretions meant Douglas found themselves facing a penalty kick at goal, this was missed and this spurred Douglas into life.
Douglas went through the phases and eventually well worked play found Mike Hebden cutting the angle to glide in for the second try of the game. Nomads still looked a threat out wide and with the Landells brothers creating a few scary moments the Douglas wings were being kept honest. Douglas however made a great break through the centres with James Wood who was allowed to run and with a big hand off to his opposite number was able to feed Callum Carine for the try. Douglas were now starting to get to grips with Nomads and they were beginning to click and things were coming off. A sign of this was the final try of the half from Bryn Snellgrove, he broke blind and chipped the ball over the defence gathered and repeated the trick and was in for a score. Half time 24 - 0 to Douglas.
The second half was a completely different affair as for the first 10 minutes Nomads stifled Douglas and then it seemed that Douglas began to overwhelm them a little and they became tired as to their credit they had put everything into the match to this point and now cracks started to appear in their defence as Douglas began firing on all blanks.
Bryn Snellgrove intercepted a wayward pass on the half way line and sauntered in under the posts for his second of the game, soon after Scott Goodall found ebough space on the left wing to go over for a try of his own.
Nomads valiantly fought back and pressured Douglas into penalties and were starting to make some in roads, however the introduction of Liam 'Mandingo' Murphy gave Douglas that fresh pair of legs from a willing runner who then got Douglas back on the front foot. A quick tap penalty found the hands of Jack Lea who burrowed over for his first club try and minutes later the ball was spun wide for Callum Carine to glide over for his second try.
Douglas were now purring nicely and they were playing some good attacking rugby and Nomads were still standing up and being counted. An attempted clearance by fly half Mark Young hit Craig McGee on the hour mark and Craig just tapped down for Douglas' ninth try of the afternoon. From the kick off Douglas recycled and when Christian Brew broke the line Douglas were on the front foot and a well times passed found James Wood on hand to glide in under the posts. The gloss on the afternoon however was when debutant prop and man of the match Jack Lea was given the ball on the 22 from a quick tap penalty with no one home for Nomads and he glided in for his second of the afternoon and Douglas' eleventh. The conversion was missed and the whistle blew for 65 - 0.
Credit must go to Nomads who stood up manfully to this powerful Douglas side and never gave up for the full 80 minutes.
Douglas will be pleased with their afternoons work and performance of the squad as a whole was excellent as Douglas now progress into the cup final where they will meet Ramsey.